Jafar Panahi was born on 11 July, 1960 in Mianeh, Iran. After studying directing at the Iran Broadcasting University in Tehran, where he was able to familiarize himself with world cinema, he began his professional career completing TV projects and working as an assistant director. In 1995, his first film, The White Balloon, was awarded the Golden Camera at the Cannes International Film Festival. In 1997, he received the Golden Leopard at Locarno Film Festival for The Mirror. His film The Circle (2000), which was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, was banned in his home country. The same is true of most of his subsequent work, including Offside (2006, Silver Bear at Berlinale Film Festival), This Is Not a Film (2011), Closed Curtain (2013, Silver Bear at Berlinale), and Taxi Tehran (2014, Golden Bear at 2015 Berlinale). In addition, Panahi received several other awards such as The Golden Coach 2011 of Cannes Film Festival and the Sacharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2012 of the European Parliament.
After Iran’s presidential elections in 2009, Panahi openly supported the opposing Iranian Green Movement. On 1 March, 2010 he was arrested together with his wife and daughter by Iranian police, and was initially jailed for three months without charge. In December 2010, he was sentenced to six years of prison for “propaganda against the system” and a 20-year ban was placed on his work. Despite all this, he frequently manages to publish new films. His film "Taxi Tehran" was awarded the Golden Bear at the 2015 Berlinale Film Festival. After Panahi asked the Tehran public prosecutor's office about the fate of two colleagues who had just been arrested in early July 2022, he was also arrested immediately and is now serving a six-year prison sentence that had already been imposed before. On February 3, 2023, Panahi was released from custody on bail.